Free Eve: True Stories Comic

Free comics! Based on actual player driven stories from the huge EVE game, EVE: True Stories is certainly a novel concept, and now you can read the first issue for free.

Issue #1 of CCP Game’s Anticipated EVE: True Stories Graphic Novel

Available Now for Free Download via Dark Horse Digital 

CCP Games, the world’s leading independent developer of massively multiplayer games and creators of EVE Online, along with Dark Horse, are pleased to announce that the first issue of EVE: True Stories, “Thieves Among Us,” is now available as a free download from Dark Horse Digital or via the Dark Horse Android and iOS apps.

Issue #1 of the EVE: True Stories graphic novel dramatizes the opening throes of one of the greatest gaming stories of the last decade – the fall of the player alliance known as the Band of Brothers. Filled with action and intrigue, “Thieves Among Us” is inspired by actual player-driven events. Issue #1 is written by legendary writer Daniel Way (Wolverine: OriginsDeadpool) and features the artwork of Tomm Coker (Daredevil NoirNear Death) with cover art by David Palumbo (ALIENS, Heavy Metal). 

Future instalments of EVE: True Stories will arrive digitally on 5th March, 19thMarch and 2nd April 2014, via Dark Horse Digital.

The hardback prestige collected edition of EVE: True Stories, containing all four comics, will go on sale in book and comic book stores, 4th June, 2014. 

EVE TRUE STORIES 1

 

Perth Writers Festival

The Perth Writers Festival is now underway until March 1, in the capital city of Western Australia with a host of events, including some that will be of interest to pop culture curious, such as The Game Changers about the video game industry, and a free screening of the recent TV documentary Comic Book Heroes about Perth publisher Gestalt Comics. That follows Graphic Detail, a talk focused on print vs digital comics.

The Game Changers Event

Dungeons & Dragons is 40

Yep, D & D is four decades old! The pioneering role-playing debuted in 1974, created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and it’s still going strong. It’s had multiple editions, comics, a cartoon and live action films, computer games and novels. I used to play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in my high school days, and it was great fun, and every now and then I think of revisiting it.

Happy birthday D & D!

dndrules

The Last Of Us: American Dreams Review

The Last Of Us CoverI’ve been a fan of writer/artist Faith Erin Hicks since her OGN Zombies Calling. If I recall correctly, I picked it up on a whim my first time at San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago, and fell in love with her storytelling ability. She somehow manages to make every character relatable and sympathetic, and there’s great depth in her cartooning style. I’ve pretty much read everything she’s done since my first exposure to her, and when I saw her name in relation to a dark, horror video game title, I was rather surprised. It’s not her normal playground, but I’m glad I gave The Last Of Us: American Dreams a chance.

This 106 page full colour TPB collects the recent four issue mini-series based on the game of the same name that was released not that long ago. Dark Horse have a good history when it comes to video games, and although the medium rarely translates well to the silver screen, there have been some great comics based on video games in the last few years, such as Udon’s always good value Street Fighter series, plus the Horse’s own efforts which include franchises such as Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. The publisher have also released some rather pretty art books which are must haves for lovers of concept art and world building, on such games as Bioshock Infinite, Remember Me as well as The Last Of Us.

American Dreams expands that world further. Written by Hicks and the creative director of the game, Neil Druckmann, with art by Hicks, this is set before the events of the game. The writing pair set the world up elegantly. In the first dozen pages, we know who these characters are, and what world they’re living in. Essentially, the city is barricaded by a giant wall against  hordes of diseased citizens called, “infected.” There’s also a rebellious faction calling themselves The Fireflies who are against the new police state, despite the good intentions of its militaristic leaders.

After some initial friction, and lots of swearing, Ellie, the angry new girl, and Riley the more experienced and sarcastic girl team up to escape their new “home.” Riley is about to turn 16 and like all those before her at that age, will be forced to become a soldier for the good of the surviving community. She doesn’t want that life so she escapes the compound with Ellie and introduces her to the older Winston, who lives in a tent in a very rundown shopping centre.

Hicks’ art conveys the emotion of each scene splendidly and isn’t afraid to use silence when necessary. The city that the mischievous pair traverse is deserted thanks to the infected, which are kind of like fast zombies, although there’s not highly detailed exposition within the story itself. On the back cover, however, is a nice setup (19 years ago a fungal outbreak killed most of the world’s population).

Being largely unfamiliar with the game, this tale stands on its own, and by focusing on two teen protagonists, and their interaction with each other, the scary world, the infected, and the hardcore Fireflies, Hicks and Druckmann have crafted a believable world in which people question their values and determination. Fans of The Walking Dead will surely be fond of American Dreams, and Hicks’ artwork is, as always, a pleasure to behold, and the few extra pages of her sketches is a pleasant bonus. At first glance it may seem that her style may not suit the gritty and intense story being told within these pretty pages, but there’s great raw emotion and dynamism at work here. When characters shout, or get frustrated or scared, Hicks superbly renders all those feelings.

The Last Of Us: American Dreams is available from October 30, and you can see a preview here.

The Last Of Us-American Dreams p4

The Last Of Us-American Dreams p5

Free Street Fighter Doco

Capcom and Area 5 have released a 72 minute documentary celebrating classic, and continuing, video game Street Fighter. I Am Street Fighter: 25 Years of Inspiration is free to view below. It’s pretty interesting, with interviews from fans, and creators such as comics writer Jim Zubkavich as well as a look at the passion the game generates, as can be seen in the amazing displays from the players and spectators in pro tournaments.

As the title implies, it’s all about the inspiration, so unfortunately there’s no in-depth analysis of the game’s creation, but it is certainly entertaining anyway.

Marvel Heroes Opening Cinematic

There’s some great animation here. This is the opener for the free Marvel Heroes game created by Gazillion, and written by comics scribe Brian Michael Bendis. It looks fluid, and sums up the origins of some great Marvel heroes beautifully.

You can check the game out here.

Batman: Arkham Origins Full Trailer

After a teaser that showed a few seconds last week, comes the full trailer for the third game in the Arkham series. It features Batman (of course), and baddies Black Mask, Deathstroke, and Deadshot.

Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains and assassins, the game showcases a young, raw, unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, witness identities being formed and key relationships being forged.

Halo Comics Now At Dark Horse

Marvel may eventually take Star Wars from Dark Horse, but Dark Horse are now taking Halo from Marvel.

A NEW ERA OF HALO® COMICS BEGINS AT

DARK HORSE!

One of the most iconic video game franchises in history comes to the number-one publisher of licensed comics! 

Dark Horse continues in the tradition of bringing only the biggest and best characters and story lines to comics with the announcement of the Halo: Initiation miniseries, launching in August! This exciting new miniseries will be written by Halo 4 writer and comics veteran Brian Reed, with art by Marco Castiello (Secret Invasion: Front Line,Star Wars: Purge)!

Before she was a supersoldier defending humanity as part of the Spartan-IV program, Sarah Palmer was an ODST—Orbital Drop Shock Trooper—carrying out the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines! See how she became the first Spartan-IV commander in this must-read series for fans of Halo 4 and the Halo franchise!

“A rich science fiction universe driven by compelling characters, Halo has all the makings for show-stopping comics, ” said Dave Marshall, Dark Horse Editor. “In Initiation, Brian and Marco are delivering an action-packed thrill-ride with a beating heart of authentic human drama.”

“It’s really exciting to work with Dark Horse in continuing the Halo story in comics. After Halo 4 and Spartan Ops, fans wanted to know more about the origins of the Spartan-IV program and Sarah Palmer in particular. So it’s great fun to be able to grant those wishes with a partner like Dark Horse,” said writer Brian Reed.

For an exclusive look at an interior page, check out Wired

Look for Halo: Initiation #1 on sale in comic shops everywhere on August 14!

HALOIN #1 FC FNL

Cool Injustice: Gods Among Us Trailer

And it stars Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes! Also written and directed by Smith (Clerks, the scary Red State) it’s short, but pretty entertaining. Injustice: Gods Among Us, starring a host of DC Comics characters, is out next week.

On a related note, the next game in the Batman: Arkham series is called Origins and will be out on October 25. It’s set on Christmas Eve and features 8 of the world’s best assassins, including Deathstroke, coming to Gotham to kill Batman. There’s a host of beautiful screenshots right here.

batman-1625

Iron Man’s Many Armours and Injustice Videos

Iron Man 3 opens in May and yes, there will be over 40 different suits of armour in the film. Tony’s been a busy boy, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige describes.

“We have what we call the prehensile suit, which allows each individual piece of the suit to fly separately and latch on to him. It doesn’t quite work perfectly, but it is a great advancement that Tony uses throughout this movie, so that wherever he is, theoretically, he can call it to him and it can arrive. It doesn’t always work, and there’s a great scene in the movie, which we gave a little taste of to fans at Comic-Con this year in a giveaway of an art poster that Ryan Meinerding had done, where the entire suit doesn’t come to him. He just gets one glove and one boot and has to fight off a battalion of bad guys with just the boot and just the glove. “It’s often the limitations of the suit that can provide the most fun-when the suit breaks, when the suit doesn’t quite work — and there’s that in spades. We also, though, hint early on in the film by mentioning that this is not the Mark 8 as you might think because the Mark 7 was the last suit revealed in “The Avengers.” It’s the Mark 42. So there are well over 40 suits that Tony has built in between the time of “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3″ because of his obsession. By the end of the film, we see each and every one of them, and you realize Tony is a mechanic and he has been tinkering. Any conceivable idea he had about the suit technology he built and stored in his Hall of Armor. Finally, after talking about it for four movies we finally see his Hall of Armor and the giant army of suits that he’s built for himself.”

Iron Man 3 Igor

Iron Man 3 Red Snapper

You can check out 6 of those awesome suits here, but it looks like the classic Hulkbuster armour from the comics has yet to reveal itself, although the Igor suit somewhat resembles it. Oh, and if you’re in Disneyland you’ll be able to see some of those suits at a new exhibit that runs from April 13 to September.

I’ve never been a hug fan of fighting video games, although I spent many hours in my high school years playing Street Fighter 2. However, any chance to play as DC Comics characters has my interest, and Injustice: Gods Among Us continues to intrigue me, the more I see of it. Take these 3 videos for example. 240 missions? Surprise characters such as Martian Manhunter and Giganta (and possibly Lobo)! Sold! A demo for the much anticipated game will be released on April 2.

New Black Ops 2 Trailer

How can any gamer not get excited by this just released trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? It looks awesome and is sure to be record breaking when it lands on November 13. Plus Medal of Honor: Warfighter is out next week. It’s a good time to be a fan of military based FPSs.

It’s hard not to think of the first Iron Man film whenever I hear Back in Black though.

 

Resident Evil

Last week I saw Resident Evil: Retribution, the latest film in the franchise, and it was one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. A bunch of characters with no backstories, and a series of fight scenes does not make a good action film. I suggest writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson looks to The Expendables for inspiration because at least those films have great fun and zest with the genre.

Well, this trailer for Resident Evil 6 looks much better than the film. The game is out next week.

 

 

 

Injustice: Gods Among Us Trailer

Made by NetherRealm is this upcoming fighter game based on the DC Comics characters. Well, some of them, and their New 52 looks too, judging by the armour on display.

The tagline is, “What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat?” although they don’t use the question mark. Man, that annoys me. I picked up Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and they even spelled destabilising wrong in a cut scene. Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of fighters, apart from a nostalgic haze over Street Fighter II, but this trailer looks cool.

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES

Injustice: Gods Among Us

New Fighting Game Franchise from the Makers of Award-Winning Mortal Kombat Franchise Revealed

What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat? Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Injustice: Gods Among Us, an all-new game in development by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, creators of the definitive fighting game franchise Mortal Kombat. The game is scheduled for release in 2013 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Wii U™ system from Nintendo.

Injustice: Gods Among Us debuts as a bold new fighting game franchise that introduces a deep, original story featuring a large cast of favorite DC Comics icons such as Batman, Harley Quinn, Solomon Grundy, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and many others. Set in a world where the lines between good and evil are blurred, players will experience heroes and villains engaging in epic battles on a massive scale.

“With Injustice: Gods Among Us, we are creating an all-new franchise with incredible battles set in the DC Comics Universe,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “NetherRealm Studios is the extremely talented team behind the latest Mortal Kombat hit and it is developing a game unlike any other in the fighting genre.”

“We can’t wait to reveal Injustice: Gods Among Us because it will give our fans and gamers an epic experience as they battle like gods as their favorite DC Comics villains and heroes,” said Ed Boon, Creative Director, NetherRealm Studios. “Our team is excited to make a fighting game that is filled with fast-paced action, incredible story-telling and iconic DC Comics characters.”

For more information, visit www.injustice.com

Scar, and The Art of War Interviews

Now at Broken Frontier are two recent interviews of mine.

I spoke to writer Edmund Shern on his work on the Scar webcomic, which is part of the new ShiftyLook site that re-imagines classic arcade games as webcomics.

I also interviewed the pair behind the thrilling OGN, The Art of War to be released in July that’s inspired by Sun Tzu’s ancient treatise of the same name.

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